Caught on camera: A leopard kills a deer in India

Ullas Karanth/WCS

Ullas Karanth/WCS

Dramatic photographs released by the Wildlife Conservation Society show the final moment of a Sambar deer’s life following a leopard’s devastating attack.

The large deer may have weighed anywhere from 440 to over 600 pounds, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said. The deer are four times larger than the leopards that hunt them.

Related: Hope for tigers? Study finds their numbers could double by 2022

Motion-activated cameras captured the scene last week, which occurred in the Bhadra tiger reserve in India. Researchers use camera traps like these to estimate the population size of leopards and tigers, as scientists can use a cat’s distinctive coat patterns to identify it. They can then use the data they gather to better understand the population dynamics of the species, and help conserve it.

In fact, the WCS reports that both the leopards and the Sambar deer— which the International Union for Conservation of Nature labels as “near threatened” and “vulnerable” respectively— are actually rebounding, following conservation efforts.